A weekly blog series exploring different creatives' views on color and its use in interiors, art and design. We will dive deep into their obsessions with color. How and why they use color. You will get to know their stories and you may even gather some tips for using color in your own home. What is better than learning from the experts!
Designer Spotlight: ME - Susan Jamieson
With everyone's busy schedules after market I lost a guest for today so I thought I would just interview myself about color and design. I hope you like this truly one on one interview:
I, Susan Jamieson, am the owner and creator of Bridget Beari Designs, an interior design firm located in Richmond, Virginia. I have also created Bridget Beari Colors, a custom line of house paint colors. 200 custom colors of which 20 are metallic colors. I also founded and created Bridget Beari Papers, a custom wallpaper line that we sell online and through Bradley USA in Chicago, Atlanta, and New York, Supply Showroom in Austin Texas and Evans and Shelton in Washington DC. We just opened our own furniture store called Bridget Beari Home Store in January which sells our paints, wallpapers, furniture, art and accessories. For those of you not in the Virginia area, we have an online store as well through our website www.bridgetbeari.com.
Here are my views on color:
What one color represents your design style?
ME: White. I love using different shades of white in a room- walls, trim, cabinetry, ceilings. Subtle and bold, white has so many different looks while always remaining classic. Even when creating whites for my paint fan deck there were so many that I loved I could have created 100 shades of white. White is definitely a color for me. The walls in the photo below are actually venetian plaster so the sheen is amazingly beautiful as the light hits the walls throughout the day.
Do you use color as a dominant role in your designs or as an accent?
ME: I am more drawn to color as an accent within a room. Bolder colors in fabrics and furniture with splashes of accent colors on ceilings, backs of bookcases or cabinetry. Although I design rooms for clients that love bold colors, it is really more about the client's request or what fits their lifestyle and home.
How do you feel about matching colors in a room?
ME: I have a real aversion to the two color scheme. That basically means a room that only has two colors. Let's say green and khaki then all the items within the room are green or khaki - rugs, lamps, art, fabrics and so on... I am more drawn to a room that has mismatched colors or interesting color combinations. This brings the room to life. The two color room is way to elementary for me.
What color represents your personality?
ME: Black because I'm fairly a serious person. Definitely not grey or wishy washy. Focus and determined are my strengths. Green and White because I'm classically modern. My design style is all about "living the mix", taking what is old and repurposing or adding modern elements to a room. I'm green and white both inside and out as my garden is all green and white flowers.
What color comes to mind when you talk about:
Your favorite City ....... Tulum, Mexico. This house is the most magical place I've ever been and I was lucky enough to design it from top to bottom. Working in Mexico was challenge and well as an adventure. I love visiting this beautiful place and talk about colors - the Caribbean blue and greens of the jungle are inspirational to all my collections.
The House You Grew Up In ......... Light Blue. My mother allowed me to design my own room when I was 12. I had light blue/white shag rug and white/cream furniture, canopy bed and light blue walls. I loved it!
Last Fabulous Dinner You Had ........ La Farfalle in Charleston. The best modern Italian in the South. Nobu in Malibu for a birthday dinner - amazing chef's choice.
Your favorite Flower ....... Orchid. I love white orchids and the best part is we have a place in RVA called Chadwick Orchids you can send your orchids there once they stop blooming. They will board them and when they re-bloom they call you to pick them up. Brilliant - orchids all year long!
Your favorite season ...... Spring. I love to garden but I hate the pollen. I have the best kitchen garden for fresh herbs and simple veggies. My love knot garden, perennial garden, camelia garden and our courtyard full of potted plants and trees from small to large. Once everything is cleaned from the winter, we love to entertain outdoors!
Your Favorite Art ...... Bill Fisher. My husband and I started our Bill Fisher collection 20 years ago with a gift to each other for our wedding present - a 6 ft. painting. Since then we have collected over 15 paintings. As Bill has now passed away, they are more precious to us than ever. We will remember him fondly and cherish his talent.
Your Favorite Room in Your Home ..... Library. I love this room as it is the perfect place to sit in the morning with coffee for quiet time and the best place for wine in the evening for chatting about the day. Dogs on the ottoman and both of us in our chairs - we love this cozy room filled with books of the past and present, memories and treasures. Plus I love the carmel ceiling.
Your Favorite Beauty product .... The Ordinary Eye Serum - miracle in a bottle!
Your Favorite Article of Clothing ...... Leopard coat. Leopard never goes out of style.
Name a color you never use?
ME: Fuschia. Not sure why but I'm not a huge pink fan. If I use pink it is almost always a blush color.
Name a color you use frequently?
ME: White and black with a color as an accent. I love a good black and white room. Black acts as a neutral to me.
If you could pick a name for a color what would it be?
ME: Whoo Whoo White - As I name all my Bridget Beari Colors after pets - dogs, cats, birds, horses and even a chicken. My dog Walther is the newest to our bunch and he doesn't a color yet. I do have a list of other people's pets that we keep for the next round of wallpaper creations or paints so if people want their pet's name on the list- email me!
Do you have a pet? What color reminds you of him/her? Do you have a nickname for this pet?
ME: I have 5 pets. Two dogs - Walther and Jaegar. Three cats - Daisy, Inky and Bing. All are rescue pets. Walther's color is red for the hints of red in his brindle coat. Jaegar is Carmel because of his carmel eyes. Inky of course is Black. Daisy is yellow for her tortoise coloring. Bing is Blush because of the subtle shade of peach in her grey coat. I'm all about pets. If you don't know, we give a percentage of our sales to rescue groups from the sale of all Bridget Beari Colors paint and Bridget Beari Papers wallpaper.
For some reason I can't find a picture of Daisy. I'll have to get on that!
Yes, the cats definitely rule in this house! They are not afraid of these big dogs at all.
What is the Now Neutral?
ME: Grey. I'm not sure it is going away either.
What is your prediction for the next big color trend?
ME: Soft Blue Green and Ox Blood Red. I saw so many items that were these colors at the antique fair Round Top in Texas and the Highpoint Furniture Market. It is funny how the pantone colors are so off the mark from their prediction of purple - I don't see purple at all. As I've interviewed people for my Hue Are You? series everyone has said that purple is their least used color.
What are the best color combinations?
ME: I love blue greens and gold. Gold or aged brass are back in a big way both in kitchens and baths and in hardware and lighting. It's the 80's again but in a more sophisticated way.
Best advice when it comes to picking paint colors?
ME: I have 4 rules on picking colors:
One - Apply the paint to the wall before selecting the color. Colors change depending on the light and reflections.
Two - Pick one shade lighter than you think when looking at a paint chart. Most people tend to pick the more intense color but the colors from the chart are always darker on the walls.
Three - Don't forget the sheen. Changing the sheen from flat, matte, satin, semi-gloss or high gloss can change the color and the effect in a room.
Fourth - Don't be matchy matchy. Sometimes the most interesting rooms are those where the walls don't exactly match the fabrics.